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Doubles with a shot timer

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Len in Phoenix, May 6, 2012.

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  1. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    No real point here, just some fun information.....

    Several of us have been discussing "fast" vs. "slow" shot timing when shooting doubles. In order to establish a baseline, one of the guys downloaded an IPSC shot timer app for his smartphone and the four of us timed ourselves shooting doubles today. The smartphone app allows the user to set the decibel threshold. After a bit of experimentation we found that 80 decibels would allow the phone to pick up the call for the target as the first data point. We weren't interested in the time it took to call....just the time between the call and the first shot and the time between the first and second shots.

    One of our shooters had a call that was only picked up by the timer once, so the time to first isn't available for him. The other 'time to first' times were similar to the first one though.

    Thoughts? Discussion? Derogatory remarks?

    Len in PHoenix




    leninphoenix_2008_03036.jpg
  2. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    Posting the chart again to improve the image quality....hopefully

    LS


    leninphoenix_2008_03037.jpg
  3. Ajax

    Ajax Active Member

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    I'm not sure how to use the information? There doesn't seem to be any correlation between the speed and the scores.

    Ajax
  4. chipking

    chipking TS Member

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    Neat stuff. Just a WAG (wild ass guess for those not schooled on higher engineering terms)from the data it looks like you and Greg are holding closer to the house to start, trapping the first bird (and pretty well it looks like )and if you had waited for the gun to get to the bird on your fourth pair you would have had them all. One more WAG in the form of a question are Jim and Michael one eyed shooters.

    How did I do.

    --- Chip King ---
  5. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    Ajax -- you're right, there isn't a lot of correlation. This is much too small a data set to really form any conclusions. There was a slight headwind which caused the targets to float a bit and allowed the slower shooters to still make hits. If we'd had a tail or cross wind it may have been different.

    Chip -- you're pretty close. I'm the only two eye shooter of the bunch. Jim closes one eye, Michael and Greg both tape their glasses. The other major difference is experience. Jim and Michael are both in their first year. Greg has been shooting for 6 years, and I've been shooting...ummm...a bit longer. (big grin). My fourth pair was a "what the hell, go for it" attempt at really moving which didn't work out well. The other pairs were at my normal, somewhat inconsistent timing.

    As for trapping the first target, neither Greg nor I "trap" the target in the classic definition of holding in the flight path and letting rip just after the call. We both hold slightly to one side of the flight path just above the house, then cover the bird and blast it. We do see it, just not for very long. This is noticeable in the way the first bird breaks. All of us were using a modified choke for the first shot. Where Jim and Michael got good solid breaks with lots of smoke, Greg and I had some smoke but a lot of chippy breaks or breaks where half the bird disappears and the other half just falls. This tells me that Greg and I break a lot of birds with the fringe of the pattern as opposed to Michael and Jim who actually take the time to really get on the first one.

    BTW....all of this was done on station 2 except for my last pair which was from station 4 just to see if it made a difference.

    Len in PHoenix
  6. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    Interesting use of that app. I would be most interested in the difference between post 3 where there is no straight-away target compared to the other posts. I feel it takes me slightly longer to break the first target on post 3 and that I have to take a bit more time to be sure not to over-run the second target there.

    Of course the target conditions could, and should, affect the timing of the second shot. A big problem for many shooters on the second target is that they shoot at their habitual time, and they are not yet on the target. A tough habit to break. Maybe this app could be used as a teaching tool for that purpose. Show the data that proves another half-second on that second bird is needed to break it consistently.

    Another darn reason to ditch the phone my wife calls the "walkie-talkie" and get an iphone like the rest of the world.
  7. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    I think it's useful, keeping track of how long it takes to get the first bird and trying to improve by getting it quicker. Not only where you hold but reaction time is also being timed. Without the timer you can only guess or go by feelings which are not dependable.
  8. Uncle Screech

    Uncle Screech Member

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    Being new to doubles shooting (I really get a big kick out of it but just can't find enough local interest) I don't think I would need a timer app like that to accurately measure my times. I think a calendar would be more than accurate enough.
  9. wolfram

    wolfram Active Member

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    Iteresting -

    What I noticed is that the lost targets seem to occur when a shooter fires ouside of their normal time - either too soon or delayed. That and the timing of the dead pairs is remarkably consistent.

    I haven't actually put a timer on it (but I have one and may try this) but what I have noticed is that the best doubles scores happen for me when I am on a squad of good shooters that all have about the same shooting tempo. There is a deffinate cadence that must play on the mind.
  10. Baber

    Baber TS Member

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    What App are you using?

    Tom
  11. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    The phone that was used is a Droid 2, and the name of the app is "IPSC shot timer."

    We experimented with a couple of different ways of timing. One interesting fact is that the initial beep that starts the string will throw a target from a Canterbury release. We moved a microphone to the 17 yard line behind the shooter and when the shooter was ready the timer was activated, throwing the target. For the 3 that could work with only a visual stimulus (the bird leaving the house), it did not make any difference in the 'time to first' numbers compared to having the shooter call for the target. One shooter, though, was so distracted by the beep that he jumped at the target and flinched badly. That's when we switched to letting the call be the first data point and just looking at the splits.

    The time to target on station 3 did come up in the conversation. My theory is that the time to target on 3 will be directly related to the experience of the shooter. My last pair (.16 to first, .42 split) was shot on station 4...and I'm one of those weird people who always shoot the right bird first. Hitting the right bird first from 4 did not change my times really at all, but I've been playing the game for a while. I didn't bring that up in the first post because it would have taken the conversation in an entirely different direction.

    To establish the difference between stations, our next project will be to shoot an entire round of doubles using a digital voice recorder to record everything, with announcements on the recording of the station and the results of each shot. We'll then use audio mixing software to remove all of the extra noise associated with shooting and get the main track down to just the call and the two shots. After that it's a relatively simple process to set markers and do the math to come up with split times, then put everything into a spreadsheet.

    I'd like to recruit some other people to try this with...fast, slow, new, experienced...to get a better mix. Our sample size is rather small to do any real "group" analysis. All we can do at this point is find the timing sweet spot for this group. Wolfram mentioned that the timing of the dead pairs is remarkably consistent. The logical step once a mark is established would be to set a metronome and work on visualizing the "good" timing. Greg spent most of today listening to a metronome app set at 122 beats per minute - just under .5 seconds between taps.

    Something to remember for new doubles shooters reading this: slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Michael and I both experimented with pushing the times up to see where the breakdown occurred. For me, .42 to the second target worked fine but .33 was too fast. The times where I took over .6 to reach the second bird felt positively glacial, like I had all the time in the world. By contrast, when Michael tried speeding up he made good hits but felt out of control. Speed comes with time and practice.


    This is a lot more fun than counting holes in paper....

    Len in PHoenix
  12. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    Another point that should be brought up is that Michael is a different kind of weird doubles shooter: he always takes the left bird first. On station 2 he and Jim were within a few hundredths of each other, but Jim was shooting the straightaway target first while Michael shot the angle first. I did the station 4 pair because we were wondering how much of a difference that really made.

    Which bird to shoot first is an entirely different conversation, though, and brings a very different set of variables into play. The biggest one is confusing the heck out of the puller, even when you try to explain what you're about to do. I'm actually in the process of switching back to "normal" because of a bad experience with a puller that wanted to argue about me shooting incorrectly.

    Len in PHoenix
  13. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    To address RLC323's point of conditions affecting the time to the second shot, I absolutely agree....to a point. It depends on the shooter and the amount of visual patience they have. We had a lot of trouble getting Greg's data into the timer (it may have been too hot, it was over 100 degrees at the range by then), so he shot at a lot more pairs than were actually recorded. For him, the best results were obtained when he stayed on the same timing and moved the gun faster to catch the target when its' flight path varied. Jim and Michael were similar, but the range of "good" times varied more than Greg's did. For me it all depends on how quickly I get a visual lock on the second target.

    Everybody is the same, just different.


    Len in PHoenix
  14. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    agreed, the datum is kind of rough but it is a clever use of an ipsc timer: at a glance, i can see a correlation between "hit factor" (lost/dead) if you just conceptualize time as distance. also, split times represent the time to acquire the second target relative to its increasing distance and the resulting "hit factor." the numbers (times) produce a curve which roughly equate to each shooters probability for a hit within or a miss outside of those times. it's interesting
  15. JGS

    JGS Member

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    Really interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing, and keep us posted on your future experiments. JGS
  16. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Active Member

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    I've always believed that consistency is more important than speed when shooting doubles. I don't shoot them as quickly as I used to, but I've found a comfortable rhythm. I've also shot next to Britt Robinson so I know what's possible as far as speed goes. As for shot timing, I suppose it could have a place in a clinic to teach developing a good rhythm.
  17. Baber

    Baber TS Member

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    Its interesting to note that timing such as this has been done in Europe on Olympic trap. The Electo Progretti control box has the capability to doing this type of data capture. I understand that some of the difference is explained as the shooter did not see the bird properly therefore was late shooting it.

    This is interesting and we will attempt to try the same thing on bunker.

    Tom
  18. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    On consistent targets I agree that your second shot timing should be very similar throughout a round. The more experienced shooter is probably able to accomplish the "right" rhythm more often. I like that comment: "slow is smooth, smooth is fast."

    One thing I see a lot that I feel is a mistake is a shooter taking a rhythm that worked so well on trap 1 and try to use it on trap 2 that is throwing a wider, or maybe a faster target. I feel you have to be able to shoot the second target at the right "time" even if that time is different from a previous round due to conditions.

    So don't get hooked on Bang.Bang. When Bang...Bang may be what is needed for the conditions. From there you try to maintain THAT consistency, the timing that is needed to break the second target as the conditions dictate for that particular round.
  19. Greogry_in_phoenix

    Greogry_in_phoenix TS Member

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    As one of the shooters involved in this exercise, part of the education, or fact finding, was based on the concept of "as soon as you 'see' the target, shoot the target". How long does that take you, and how do you get your mind to trust that you see the target, and to drive the gun that direction.

    Your speed to target is based on several factors including your comfort factor that when you see the target it is OK to shoot the target. It was eye-opening to actually see what that speed really was. How fast is "fast". I have shot with several good doubles shooters that felt "dramatically" faster then both Len and I. Most of the good doubles shooters I have watched are very fast compared to the new, inexperienced, and not very good shooters. As a person that has spent a lot of time in the "not very good" category, and only recently began to both improve, and trust my shooting, the speed test really confirmed some thinking. My theory was that once you trusted where you were shooting, and allowed your mind/eyes to drive the gun, the more consistent your "dead" targets would be than your "lost" targets. More consistent breaks would increase shooter confidence and thus also increase speed to target. As Len said, "slow is smooth, smooth is fast". As your swings smooth out, your speed will naturally increase.

    I started with two principles that I think I can back with data:
    1. The closer the target is to the house, the less conditions affect / impact that target.
    2. The more consistent you are at seeing the target, the more your timing will average out.

    Now, speed to target varies the angle between shooter and target (faster =less angle, slower = greater angle). If you accept the above principles, the faster but more importantly consistent you are to the target, the less variable you introduce between shooter and target. If you are to practice, you must establish certain baselines to ensure that practice is consistent. If you use a practice board (yes I am uber-geeking one based on my shoot speed and the calculated angles for my shooting under ideal conditions), then you should have some type of consistent movement too and between targets

    Now for my Hypothesis - if I can keep consistent split times, with an allowable deviance for conditions, my scores will improve, adding the assumption that I do actually practice using those conditions. As Len mentioned, I am using a metronome to learn to help practice my swing with a consistent timing.

    Everyone thinks they are consistent, but, unless you measure it, are you?
  20. Len in Phoenix

    Len in Phoenix TS Member

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    Greogry -- Thank you for introducing the phrase "allowable deviance" into the conversation....that opens so many doors that I hesitate to even contemplate where this may go.


    The math geek in me would like to protest your statement that speed to target varies the angle between the shooter and the target. Angle EBF will always be 17 degrees no matter where along lines EB or FB the measurement is taken.



    leninphoenix_2008_03039.jpg


    Unless, of course, you want to get really geeky and calculate the true arc of flight instead of using the geometric representation. In that case we need to introduce the differing vectors involved at various points along that arc.

    If we go there, though, we're getting close to the theory presented in the "Shooting Clay Targets Is Impossible" thread.

    I do agree that the 'visual perception' of the angle changes with the time to target as well as the actual distance. If you think it's easier to shoot the target earlier or if you think it's easier to shoot the target later or if you think it's easier to shoot the target because you're wearing different colored socks, you're right.

    Sidebar to everyone watching this from the peanut gallery: Greg and I really do sit around and have conversations like this. It's a horribly fascinating thing to watch.

    Lest anyone forget, the point of the exercise was originally just to see how long it actually took to shoot a pair. Then our good friend 'scope creep' showed up and it became a way to begin estimating the 'sweet spot' for each shooter. We have enough data to just barely begin to create a couple of competing theories, but there has to be much more shooting before anything even close to concrete can be derived from the data.

    There are so many more data points that need to be considered that this experiment could easily take years. Here's a short list of additional data points that will need to be tracked:

    Shooter experience;
    One or Two eye shooter;
    Station;
    Swinging right-left or left-right;
    Location of the club;
    Elevation;
    Wind;
    Humidity;
    Clothing;
    Sun angle;
    Target color;
    Background;
    Temperature;
    Time of day;
    Previous shots fired by hour/day/week;
    Foot position;
    Food intake / blood sugar level;
    Lens color;
    Squad timing - influence of other shooters;
    Barrel length;
    Length of pull;
    Fixed stock or recoil reducer;
    Hours of sleep the previous night;
    Recoil - 1 oz vs 1 1/8 oz, light vs. heavy loads;
    Voice release or hand pull;
    Gun configuration - double vs. semi-auto;
    Top or bottom barrel first;
    Mental state - argued with the wife, just won the lottery, etc;
    Practice, competition, or shoot off;
    Caffeine or nicotine intake;

    .....plus whatever else we come up with as the bottom of the bottle approaches.


    We all have notes (don't we?) that cover things like what lens colors to wear at different clubs, how much to reduce the length of pull to compensate for shooting in a winter coat, the roof on trap 1 in Pleasant Valley is lower than the rest so move your visual hold point up slightly....things like that. Why not have notes about doubles timing for different locations and conditions? "The left bird on trap 1 at the Bugscuffle Gun Club curls after the peak, so give yourself an extra tenth to get a good look at it."

    Being a geek is so much fun.........


    Len in PHoenix
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